the president was certainly prepared for, and that is addressing the new sanctions for russia. kristen, what's the latest on that front? >> reporter: he was asked why the united states wouldn't move forward unilaterally with the biggest sanctions that would have a big bite on the russian economy, not onboard with sectoral with the sanctions, because they believe it could hurt their economy. they say it's more powerful to present a united front with its european allies, and to impose sanctions, therefore, on more high-ranking individuals, those who are closest to putin. president obama making the point if the united states would move forward unilaterally, it would give putin an opening to make it a face-off against the u.s. and russia. tony earlier today said on "meet the press" that the u.s. isn't ruling anything out, including potentially targeting putin himself. alex? >> kristen, i do want to ask you about that poignant moment today as the president was speaking at the town hall with university students, and he reflected on losing his mother to cancer. what did he say? >> reporter: right.